Recipents of Belltable:Connect Stage 1 bursary scheme to facilitate creative thinking time for local theatre makers:

Ann Blake – to start work on adaptation of Ariadne by Gabriel Marcel.

Ella Daly – to explore the theory of ambiguous loss through theatre.

Emma Fisher – to start development of a new work, The Other Limb.

Conor Madden – to explore the commonalities and contrasts between our divided past, socially distant present and uncertain future though investigating a historic figure, a Clare priest Canon William Kennedy.

Maeve McGrath – to explore the memories of The Gaeltacht for a new work Back Again! The Gaeltacht Experience.

Marie Boylan – developing a new on-line short play where the communication between characters and audience is through emoji.

Pius McGrath – to explore an idea for a new theatrical work, a comedy in three acts with technical trickery peppered throughout.

Georgina Miller-Herring – to start writing a one woman show about events I survived eleven years ago that I shouldn’t have.

Liam O’Brien – to research the possibility of a new work in the ‘theatre for one’ genre in Limerick.

Joanne Ryan – to consider ways that theatre, especially participatory work, might take place in a future where social distancing rules must be observed.

Click any of the names linked above to read their blogs.

Stage 1

  • 10x bursaries of €1,000 for local theatre artists to explore a new idea in May (applications open at 12 noon on Friday, 24 April 2020) 

Stage 2

  • 1x Creative Ireland: Made in Limerick Belltable:Connect research and development bursary of €2,500, which Stage 1 successful applicants will be eligible to apply for to take their idea further (applications will open in the second half of 2020)

Belltable:Connect has supported a range of theatre makers through mentorship, residencies, commissions, professional development programmes, masterclasses, space, time and production since its inception in 2016. We have become a performing arts hub in Limerick’s city centre and a space where artists and the public come together to develop and explore new work and new ideas.

In these uncertain and troubling times, when many artists are faced with loss of bookings and financial income, Belltable:Connect wants to play its part to help local theatre makers make it just a little easier to dream and research. We’re aware that when creative plans were disrupted, some of our colleagues may have more time on their hands, while others have taken on caring responsibilities. With this in mind, we have €10,000 in bursaries, thanks to Belltable:Connect’s principal funder, the Arts Council, and our partners. Ten bursaries of €1,000 each are offered for local theatre artists to explore a new idea for about five days throughout the month of May. A further €2,500 was made available by Limerick Culture and Arts Office via Creative Ireland: Made in Limerick funding strand for one Stage 1 bursary recipients to take their idea further.

Who is the bursary for?

Belltable:Connect 10 bursaries are available to theatre makers in any form (eg playwriting, devising, performance, design, stage managers, technicians, producers, etc).

These bursaries are for practitioners who have professional experience. For the purposes of this application, only those who have worked (in any capacity) on a production/piece funded by either the Arts Council or Limerick Culture and Arts Office will be deemed eligible.

These bursaries are strictly for practitioners living and working in Limerick City, Limerick County and within 25km radius of Limerick City – see map:

What is the bursary for?

These bursaries are for you to think and research an idea at some point during the month of May. They are intended to buy you time – approximately five working days – and head space to explore a new idea, perhaps way of working, writing, designing, sharing with audiences, supporting the production team technically or collaborating with other artists. They should help alleviate immediate financial worries and allow you think creatively. Applications are welcome for ideas as Gaeilge or bi-lingually.

These bursaries are NOT to train or purchase materials for a new piece of work, there is NO obligation for you to create anything at the end. It’s simply five days of time to think, dream, research, explore and see what happens.

What and when will be required of you if you are successful?

Bursaries’ recipients are not under pressure to produce or share any piece of work – but they can, should they want to.

Bursaries’ recipients will be required to engage with Belltable:Connect team about their idea, in the form of either a short blog post or vlog. Whether this is something you have created (piece of a script, drawing of a set/ costume, a piece of music or a song, poem, etc) or a simple recording of yourself talking about your idea, is up to you.

The five days the bursary buys are intended to be used any time throughout the month of May – it is up to you how you plan your time. You can take five days in a row or ten half days, there is no clocking in or clocking out involved. However, all blogs/ vlogs must be finished and submitted by 12 noon on Monday, 1 June 2020.

How to apply

Please fill out the google application form in FULL, partial applications will be deemed ineligible. Only online applications via the designated form will be valid, no hard copy or email applications will be accepted.

Application timeline and process

The application form will go live on on Friday, 24th April at 12 noon. Bursaries will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first come first served basis.

Applications will close either once ten eligible applications have been received, applicants contacted and accepted the offer of the bursary, or on 1 May 2020, whichever is sooner.

Use this advance notification time to prepare your documents. For the application, you will need:

  • Make sure you have access to a google account in order to fill out the application form.
  • An outline of your idea of what you are looking to research and why – under 200 words.
  • Photo/scan of a utility bill in your name with an address in Limerick City, Limerick County or the designated greater Limerick area (see map above).
  • Proof of having worked (in any position) on a production/piece of work in receipt of an award by either the Arts Council or Limerick Culture and Arts Office. This can be a link to the funding awarded announcement webpage or an image of promotional material for the work that was funded acknowledging the funding body or a letter of award you received.
  • We’ll ensure a quick turnaround in processing applications and a prompt upfront payment of the initial bursary drawdown when that is helpful to the artist.

Is there a progress route to further develop my idea?

Yes, there is! In partnership with Limerick Culture and Arts Office, we are delighted to offer a second stage of the award, funded by Creative Ireland and Limerick City and County Council through a Creative Ireland: Made in Limerick Grant 2020. One bursary of €2,500 for Research and Development will be available for successful Belltable:Connect 10 applicants to apply for. This will be a competitive process, to offer an opportunity to develop work conceptualised during the current Belltable:Connect 10 bursaries.

Anything else to note?

While it is not a condition of the application, we are particularly keen to hear from theatre makers wishing to research ideas for work in the new social-distanced medium future.

Each bursary will be of €1,000, no other amount will be awarded. It will be split into two payments as agreed with the recipient and paid into the applicant’s bank account only upon receipt of an invoice.

Applicants must be over 18 years of age on 1 May 2020, or earlier.

Belltable:Connect will not provide feedback on ineligible or unsuccessful applications.

If you are in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Job Seekers Benefit or Allowance – you may need to temporarily stop the payment for the five days while working on this bursary during the month May, please contact your tax advisor or the social services for advice.

For further information or to ask a question, please email Marketa Dowling on

Belltable:Connect is supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Limerick Culture and Arts Office, Limerick City and County Council and Mary Immaculate College. The Research and Development Bursary of €2,500 is supported by Creative Ireland and Limerick City and County Council through a Creative Ireland: Made